06/14/2006 11:00PM

Three stakes boosted to $200,000 level


More than a dozen of the 43 stakes on Laurel Park's fall schedule received purse increases and two new events for 2-year-old Maryland-breds have been added on the schedule released Thursday by the Maryland Jockey Club.

The biggest boosts - $50,000 apiece - went to the Grade 3 Safely Kept, the John Schapiro Breeders' Cup, and the Martha Washington BC. Each will now be worth $200,000.

Eight additional stakes were given raises from $15,000 to $25,000 to rise in value to $100,000 apiece. That list includes the Gala Lil, a one-mile race for fillies and mares that is back on the schedule following a year's absence.

Seven other stakes rose in value from $10,000 to $25,000, bringing the total purse value at the meet to $4.7 million. That sum includes two $75,000 stakes that were run at Pimlico last summer, the Mister Diz and Humphrey Finney.

All but six of the 43 stakes will now be worth at least $75,000.

The two new stakes for statebred juveniles, the Gin Talking and Oliver's Twist, will be worth $50,000 apiece. Both are scheduled for Sept. 16.

As usual, the two biggest dates on the calendar are Maryland Million Day on Oct. 14, when 12 races with purses from $30,000 to $250,000 are run, and Frank De Francis Memorial Dash Day, Nov. 25. Eight stakes, highlighted by the Grade 1, $300,000 De Francis, will be contested, seven of them six-figure stakes.